Physician Profile: Paulette Chandler, M.D.: Prescribing Health
As a child, Paulette Chandler was always interested in the effect lifestyle choices had on disease. This relationship struck especially close to home when Dr. Chandler’s father was diagnosed with lung cancer when she was only 14 years old. Dr. Chandler chose to attend Duke Medical School to pursue internal medicine. This field of medicine was the broadest in scope and gave her the most opportunity to encourage people to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Dr. Chandler now influences lives and individuals’ habits every day. As a clinical faculty member of Harvard Medical School practicing at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, she encourages her patients to become actively involved in managing their diseases and gives them detailed information about nutrition to read at home. “When they are in charge, they can see it as a win-win situation,” she said.
Dr. Chandler became involved with The Cancer Project in the spring of 2006. She began teaching Food for Life nutrition and cooking classes in the Boston area and loves the opportunity to educate and help participants encourage each other.
Dr. Chandler was one of five speakers at The Cancer Project’s 2006 Symposium held in Bethesda, Md. Her presentation, “Keys to Keeping the Change,” looked at the benefits of a plant-based diet, the better quality of life that diet could bring, and how to make the change. She spoke about personal motivators, such as having better health for one’s children, and provided a specific plan for making a big lifestyle change and embracing it. Dr. Chandler will continue working closely with The Cancer Project as a new member of The Cancer Project’s Advisory Board.
So, does Dr. Chandler feel that she’s reached her childhood goal of educating people about how lifestyle changes can affect health? “I’ve definitely reached my goal,” she said. “It’s so rewarding to see people healthy and happier. And it’s not just an internal change—it’s visible.”